5.29.2017

A Birth Story Part Deux

Here is the story of how one of the very best things that ever happened to me, happened to me.

Leading up to my due date, I kept saying I was in no hurry to have this baby. Claire had turned into quite the twonager and I was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of making her days meaningful while caring for a newborn. And in her sweeter moments, I was mourning the loss of being able to give her all of me. 

Of course, the closer my due date got, the more I wanted it to be labor day. 


There was the poor sleeping, waking up and wondering what the day would hold (nothing too exciting ever). There was the hesitancy to make plans that I wasn't sure I could keep. And there was the anxiety to see this babe and know for certain that she was as perfect as my pregnancy had been. I was much more anxious this time around that there would be something wrong. 

So eventually I started filling my days with fun things to do. We went bowling, spent lots of time at the park, made plenty of outings, and then on the day before my due date, we went to Wheeler Farm and saw the one-day-old calf and went to my midwife appointment. Everything was pretty peachy, but I was measuring small enough that my midwife wanted to do a growth ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing fine. I couldn't do it that day, so they set up an appointment for the next day after measuring for the amniotic fluid and doing a non-stress test. Oh, and I had her strip my membranes just to see what would happen. I was only 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced, but I knew that was meaningless. 

Well now I was really getting anxious wondering if there was something wrong and some reason she was measuring small. I feared needing to get induced if there was really an issue. I spent the rest of the day just trying to keep focused on my family and having a bit of fun with them. 

I got Claire in bed and then myself. Around nine, I started noticing some cramping but didn't want to get myself too excited about it. Besides, I slept terribly the night before and needed some rest. I fell asleep and had dreams that incorporated my crampiness, then woke up around 11 to some sad cries from Claire that were probably bad dream induced. I was curious if the cramps were coming at any regular intervals, so I timed some. It did seem like they had a rhythm to them, but I didn't wake up Tom because he came home from work extremely tired. 

Around midnight I decided to get up and walk around my basement while listening to podcasts to see if that would help things along. I woke Tom up in the process, and there was no going back. As soon as I was up and walking around, I was definitely having contractions, and they were getting harder to ignore. Tom called the midwife and asked when we should think about coming in. I was having contractions about every four minutes apart for about a minute, but I was dealing with them pretty well. I could still talk through them, so I knew that I couldn't be that far along, despite how close they were getting. We were going to drive to the opposite end of the valley to get to the hospital, so there was no way that I wanted to get there too early. I got in a nice hot bath and that helped quite a bit. Eventually, I decided that maybe we should just get up to that end of the valley so that I wouldn't have to deal with the worst of the contractions in the car. 

Ugh, contractions in the car. 

We made it to the hospital and got checked into triage. Luckily there were no other women to attend to so I got seen straight away. A beautiful nurse came in to check me and I may have told her she was so pretty she could "check my cervix anytime." When she did, she said "We have a winner! You're at a six. Good work mama." And I cried. I remember crying when I was laboring with Claire and I was told I was at a six, but that was because I had been laboring for over 24 hours at that point and thought surely I must be getting near the end. This time I cried because that meant I was being admitted and had made it so far thinking I was still probably at a three. 

I decided to get an epidural because I hadn't slept in a couple days, though looking back on how everything went down, I know I could have done it without one. 

The anesthesiologist was available right away, and because the staff could tell I was progressing very fast, she decided to give me a combined spinal and epidural to help me get some relief faster. She was also dreamy and Australian! I could have had her keep telling me "no worries" and wouldn't have needed the hard stuff. 

Well, it wasn't working, and it wasn't working, and my contractions were getting real intense. Here's where my mom would be proud, knowing that I never made a sound other than very loud breathing. (Her motto is, if you're going to scream-- get an epidural. We don't scream.)

Eventually my left side was taken care of but my right was still feeling everything, so she did a re-dose and finally it had worked. 

One of the very best things about this labor? My favorite midwife was on call, the one who was also on call when I had Claire but I labored so long that her shift ended. I was determined to have this baby on her watch. 

We caught up a little and had a nice chat, and then I started to feel weird. I had enough time to say, "I feel weird. I'm going to pass out now." And so I did. I have low blood pressure anyway, so passing out is not new to me (clearly). Through my muffled hearing, I could hear the anesthesiologist being called back in and my midwife was having my blood pressure taken while rolling me on to my left side and supporting me with a towel while I got an oxygen mask strapped on. My blood pressure dropped to 54/30, most likely because of the re-dose of drugs, dehydration from getting everything out of my system during labor, and my already low-ish blood pressure to begin with. My Aussie shot me up with drugs and I got back up to stable condition. After that, I had uncontrollable shaking and chattering. It wasn't bothering me, but Tom kept wanting to instinctively grab me a blanket. 

I had the midwife check to see how I was doing, since I was so numb I wasn't sure I'd be able to feel pressure even. She said I was ready to go and that I could start pushing if I wanted to. I decided to go for it since I wanted her to deliver my girl. 

Once again, the amniotic sac came right out on its own, not ever breaking till the end. The midwife had my husband look at it since apparently you can see the shed vernix and the baby's hair floating around in there. It wasn't long after that we started to see a little head with lots of dark hair making its debut. At almost 6:30 in the morning, Tom caught our slippery little girl and brought her to me. It took me quite a while to be able to say anything because of all the emotions. She looked so much like Claire, but with a nice head of beautiful dark hair. 

Everything after that went great, and I'll never forget my midwife holding up my placenta and saying, "It looks like a heart!" Round two for interesting placentas, I guess?

She was a full pound lighter than Claire, but still an average-sized baby. There was no need to worry after all! She has an "angel's kiss" birthmark on her forehead which kills me every time I think about it, knowing exactly which angel left it there. 




We named her Jane Louise, after Tom's sweet, sweet grandma who passed away last year. She is everything. 




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